Latest articles from the Innovate My School community.

For November and December, we’re bringing you Leading The Way, a series all about being an effective school leader. We’ll be publishing articles on the likes of staff wellbeing, school communities, curriculum planning, CPD and networking. Then there’s the case of edtech, which offers schools a variety of challenges and opportunities.

“To state the obvious, technology is now fully embedded in our lives,” says edtech specialist Terry Freedman. “It therefore stands to reason that a school in which technology is not part of the very fabric of the place is likely to be seen as somehow not quite part of the ‘real world’.

“Being a technology-rich school is no longer merely a ‘nice-to-have’ - it is essential. Put simply, why would anyone stay in an environment in which their job is made harder because of the lack of time and labour-saving software, if they have the choice of working in a better-equipped school?”

With this in mind, enjoy these amazing articles, which are powered by edtech solutions provider Groupcall.

Having taught now since 2008, and having been a subject lead since 2010, I have seen through a fair share of changes to the History curriculum. When I first arrived, my school was teaching a traditional KS3 system (think Romans, 1066 and all that, Medieval life in Year 7) before a GCSE and A-Level that bore no link or pathway to the GCSE. Since then, “what sort of curriculum?” has become a key part ...
I come to write this piece after a brief Twitter exchange, a shared appreciation of the 1998 Coen brothers cult classic The Big Lebowski, with Innovate My School editor James Cain, Emerging from our ensuing conversation was the idea of an article to explore what lessons in leadership, if any, might be gleaned from Jeff ‘The Dude’ Lebowski. Despite my love of the movie, and my interest in leadership lessons from ...
When did you last review your timetabling software, or school practices when it comes the complex area of scheduling? Chris Ellison, deputy headteacher at Kennet School in Thatcham (whose old timetable can be seen above), discusses how his school saved £300k - and a lot of hassle! - with Edval:
Teachers and pupils alike are set to be inspired by the Olympic and Paralympic Values with the launch of the Values Awards from Get Set, the official youth engagement programme of the British Olympic Association and British Paralympic Association. This initiative is building on the success of Get Set for Community Action, which empowered more than 18,000 young people to make real changes within their community Students aged between seven and 19 ...
At the third national #WomenEd unconference in Sheffield, Amy Jeetley spoke about how brilliant teachers don’t always make brilliant leaders. I absolutely agree, and would say that although the skills are in some ways related (getting the best from the students you teach/getting the best from the colleagues you lead), leadership demands something specific from us. Working with and through other adults is a challenge of a different ...
The most superficial study of the causes of World War One illustrates that rampant nationalism played an important role in the tragedy that unfolded one hundred years ago in the summer of 1914. Schools have a particular responsibility to ensure that any study of the Great War highlights how national pride is one short step away from national prejudice, which in turn precludes empathy and predisposes countries towards military conflict. This ...
Christalla Jamil is very proud of her school, and it’s easy to see why. All evidence points to London’s Eastfield Primary being a tremendously happy, vibrant place, with a real emphasis on developing each pupil as a healthy individual. Christalla was kind enough to take some time to talk school leadership and how ‘Easty’ achieves excellence.
Schools and academies are urged to be more aware of the forthcoming changes to data protection at all levels of the organisation. To help schools, colleges and other education institutions navigate their way through the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and get plans off the ground, Arena Group has set up a free, practical webinar.
Teaching and learning is the key to success! Teachers know it, and Ofsted tells everyone! So why can't we get it right in every school? We know that if teaching is deemed to be good and outstanding, then the outcomes should represent this, and therefore so should the Ofsted grading. So easy, right?
Primary school leaders now have a new self-evaluation process that helps them to tighten teaching, learning and administration. The team behind celebrated admin tool Educater have unleashed their latest resource: SEFonline, an online self-evaluation tool that supports SLT staff in preparing for Ofsted inspection visits and shaping their school improvement plans.
Leadership – an interesting word with many connotations. Throughout my teaching career, I have experienced a range of leadership styles. Holistic. Volatile. Aggressive. Manipulative. The one thing they all had in common was the fact they were not role models. They didn’t inspire any interest for me to become, or in fact, believe I could be a leader. I didn’t fit the mould:
Catrin Parry-Jones, headteacher at West Earlham Junior School in Norwich, discusses how her school has raised standards and attainment:
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